Luxury Trains in India: Palace on Wheels is not the only one

When one thinks of Luxury trains in India, The Palace on Wheels is the first (and only) name that springs up in our minds. However, a fact which many Indians are unaware of is that The Palace on Wheels is NOT the only luxury train in India. There are actually 4 other equally (if not more) luxurious trains other than The Palace of Wheels.

Since I have never traveled in any of these trains (but plan to), I would unfortunately not be able to provide a personal narrative. Also, since all the details of these trains are available on their websites, I would like to provide only a brief overview on this topic.

Indian railways generally paint up a picture of overcrowded coaches with walls adorned with pan stains and the aroma of sweat and urine floating about in the air. However, there are 5 trains in India which will give you an experience of extreme opulence rather than the usual torment. These trains offer a long leisurely journey free from the usual “pack-travel-unpack-repeat”.  Therefore, if you want to enjoy a few days of royal treatment along with traveling to some of the most exotic destinations in India, and if you have a lot of money to spend, these luxury trains are the perfect choice.

These trains are called Luxury trains for a reason. Each of them has accommodation and food at par with 5 star hotels. The amenities and facilities like gym, spa, bar and lounges are also no less. Every passenger’s comfort is taken care of by well groomed staff that is trained to give you a royal experience. Apart from this, tours and excursions of finest qualities are organized at various destinations en route to give the passenger an experience of a lifetime.

1) The Deccan Odyssey

The Deccan Odyssy
The Deccan Odyssy

Duration of Trip: 7 Nights / 8 Days (for all routes)

Tariff: US $ 8,386 for a cabin with double occupancy.
            The tariff is same for all routes.

Blog: http://www.cntraveller.in/story/whats-like-ride-deccan-odyssey/

Site: http://www.deccan-odyssey-india.com/

This Maratha royalty themed train runs on 5 routes;

1) Maharashtra Splendor (Mumbai to Mumbai)

Mumbai – Aurangabad – Ellora Caves – Tadoba – Ajanta Caves – Nashik – Kolhapur – Goa – Mumbai

Highlights:

  • Ajanta and Elora Caves
  • Two drives through Tadoba Tiger reserve
  • Witness the “Mardani Kehl” martial art of the Marathas
  • Lavanya Sandhya and Mud wrestling
  • A Wine Tour of Nashik
    Deluxe suite in the Deccan Odyssy
    Deluxe suite in the Deccan Odyssy

    2) Jewels of the Deccan (Mumbai to Mumbai)

    Mumbai – Bijapur – Aihole – Pattadakal – Badami – Hampi – Hyderabad – Mumbai

    Highlights:

    • Gol Gumbaz: 2nd largest dome in the world
    • Bright yellow sunflower fields and red-ochre hues from the sandstone hills in Badami
    • UNESCO World heritage sites in Hampi
      'Khitmatdars' to attend the guests during the luxurious stay
      ‘Khitmatdars’ to attend the guests during the luxurious stay

      3) Indian Odyssey (Delhi to Mumbai)

      Delhi –Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Jodhpur -Udaipur – Vadodara – Mumbai

      Highlights:

      • Drive through Ranthambore national park
      • Guided tour through Taj Mahal
      • Enjoy delicacies from the Royal kitchen at the resplendent Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodra along with a folk dance performance.
      • Enjoy a wide array of sumptuous Marwar barbecue delights served in the royal courtyard of Mehrangarh Fort as you admire the cityscape from atop.

      4) Deccan Odyssey -Indian Sojourn

      Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Agra – Sanchi – Aurangabad – Mumbai

      Highlights:

      • World Heritage Sites in Agra and Jaipur
      • Buddhist relics in Sanchi and Aurangabad
        • Champagne breakfast overlooking the Taj
        • Witness a Elephant Polo Match in Jaipur
        • Drive through at Ranthambore National Park.rive through Ranthambore national park
          Lounge room in the Deccan Odyssy
          Lounge room in the Deccan Odyssy

          5) Hidden Treasures of Gujarat (Mumbai to Delhi)

          Mumbai – Vadodara – Bhavnagar – Sasan Gir – Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera – Ahmedabad – Delhi

          Highlights:

          • Enjoy delicacies from the Royal kitchen at the resplendent Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodra along with a folk dance performance.
          • Spend a day in Palitana: City of 900 temples
          • Tour of Sasangir and interaction with the local tribe of Maldharis
          • Jeep Safari in Rann of Kutch and the Wild Ass Sanctuary
          • Camel Cart safari in the streets of Kutch

          VSN_0270

          2) The Golden Chariot

          The Golden Chariot

          Duration of Trip: 7 nights/8 days (for all routes)
          Blog: http://www.anitabora.com/blog/2008/02/27/a-golden-experience-on-wheels/
          Site: http://www.thegoldenchariot.co.in/

          This luxury train, which provides the experiences of the many worlds of Karnatak, runs on 2 routes:

          1) The splendor of South

          Bangalore-Mammalapuram-Chennai-Pondicherry-Tiruchilapalli-Madurai- Kanyakumari-Allepey-Bangalore

          Highlights:

          • Excursion in Mammalauram: ancient coastal port with open air museums
          • Beaches and Auroville in Pondicherry
          • The Rock Fort Temple in Tiruchilapalli
          • Meenakshi temple Madurai
          • Sunrise in Kanyakumari
          • Gala Dinner and Cultural Show at The Leela Kovalam.
          • Backwaters in Allepey

          Tariff: INR 161000 all 7 days for a double occupancy.

          golden-chariot3

          2) The pride of South

          Bangalore – Kabini/Bandipur – Mysore – Hassan – Hospet – Badami – Goa – Bangalore

          Highlights:

          • Safari in Bandipur wildlife sanctuary
          • Mysore Palace
          • Sharavnbelgoda; world’s largest monolith
          • Badami: A World Heritage Site
          • Beaches in Goa

          Tariff: INR 1,40,000 for all 7 days for a double occupancy.

          golden-chariot4

           

          3) Maharaja express

          The Maharaja Express
          The Maharaja Express

          Site: http://www.maharajas-express-india.com/
          Blog: http://www.nikhilchandra.in/maharajas-express-train-a-day-in-life/

          The Maharaja Express runs on 5 routes which have some similar highlights:


        1) The Indian Splendor:

        Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai

        Duration of tour: 8 days/7 nights

        Additional Highlights:

        • Camel-cart procession followed by Sundowner cocktails on the sand dunes in Bikaner
        • Relish a Gala dinner in Jodhpur
        • Indulge in a Royal Lunch in Udaipur
        • Visit one of the largest dinosaur fossil parks in the world

        Tariff: $ 5, 980 per adult for a Deluxe Cabin

        Bar
        Bar

        2) The Heritage of India

        Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi

        Duration of tour: 8 days/7 nights

        Additional Highlights:

        • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Ajanta Cave Monuments.
        • Indulge in a Royal Lunch at the Udaipur
        • Enjoy Cocktail Dinner with Marwar Culinary Delight in Jodhpur
        • Camel procession followed by Sundowner Cocktails at the Sand Dunes in Bikaner

        Tariff: $ 6, 840 980 per adult for a Deluxe Cabin

         3) Treasures of India

        Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

        Duration of tour: 4 days/3 nights

        Additional Highlights: None

        Tariff: $ 3, 850 per adult for a Deluxe Cabin

        Restaurant
        Restaurant

        4) Gems of India

        Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

        Duration of tour: 4 days/3 nights

        Additional Highlights:

        • Visit to Udaipur

        Tariff: $ 3, 850 per adult for a Deluxe Cabin

        5) The Indian Panorama

        Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi

        Duration of Tour: 08Days / 07 Nights

        Additional Highlights:

        • Feast over a lavish spread of delicacies from the Royal kitchens of Gwalior and Lucknow.
        • Explore the quaint environs of Orchha and Khajurahos’ marvelous temples
        • Visit to Varanasi – the oldest living city in the world

        Tariff: $ 5, 980 per adult for a deluxe cabin

        Deluxe Suite
        Deluxe Suite

        4) Royal Rajesthan on Wheels

        Royal Rajsthan on wheels
        Royal Rajasthan on wheels

        Blog: http://blog.indianluxurytrains.com/2011/06/royal-rajasthan-on-wheels-reviews.html

        Site: http://www.royalrajasthanonwheels.co.in/

        Duration of Trip:  8 days/7 nights

        Tariff: INR 40500 per person per night for a twin sharing cabin

        Route:
        Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi
        This train runs only on 1 route

        Highlights:

        • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur.
        • Temples of – Khajuraho.
        • Ranthambore National Park.
        • The- Ghats of Varanasi.
        • Boat Cruise, Udaipur.
        • Amber Fort, Jaipur.
        • Taj Mahal, Agra.      rrow_002 

          5) Palace on Wheels

          The Palace on Wheels
          The Palace on Wheels

          Site: http://www.palaceonwheels.net/

          Blog: http://blog.indianluxurytrains.com/2012/12/palace-on-wheels-experience-royalty-on.html

          Duration of Trip:  8 days/7 nights

          Tariff: INR 30000 per person per night for a double occupancy.

          Route:
          New Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Chittorgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi

          Lounge
          Lounge 

          Highlights

          • Discover Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal in Jaipur
          • Safari inRanthambore National Park
          • Visit Udaipur’s city palace and crystal gallery
          • Witness the sandstone havelis in Thar Desert
          • Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
          • Taj Mahal

            Yes, this is the washroom :)
            Yes, this is the washroom 🙂

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